National Council for the Social Studies
Board of Directors

Meeting Minutes


November 16, 2005

85th NCSS Annual Conference

Kansas City, Missouri
Attending: Jeff Passe, Chair; Peggy Altoff; Gayle Thieman; Stephen Armstrong; Dennis Banks; Lynne Boyle-Baise; Bruce Damasio; David Faerber; Jesus Garcia; Steven Goldberg; Syd Golston; Diane Hart; Dorsee Tucker-Johnson; Michael Koren; Ricki Laviano; Denee Mattioli; Sally Jo Michalko; Paul Nagel; Kelly Palmer; Eileen Sheehy; Shelly Singer; Carol Warren; Marsha Yoder; Paul Horne. Staff: Susan Griffin; Michael Simpson; Tim Daly; Cassandra Roberts; Paul Schwobel; Ana Post; Ella ,McDowell; Rich Palmer.

I. Approval of Agenda

President Jeff Passe called the meeting to order at 8:30 am. After introductions, the board reviewed the meeting agenda.

Motion: ...to approve the agenda
  • Passed

II. Review of May 2005 Minutes

Motion: ... to approve May 2005 meeting minutes
  • Passed

III. Review of Board Actions May 2005-November 2005

Motion: ... to reaffirm board actions taken since last meeting. (Banks/Nagel)
  • Passed

CPB American History and Civics
CPB will award $20 million in grants to forge unique and sustainable partnerships to create innovative, multi-platform projects that measurably improve learning.

REQUEST: The proposal mentions two possible ways of collaborating/partnering, one as a "Managing Partner", the other as a "Key Partner". Due to the extensive amount of financial and staff resources that would be required to be a "Managing Partner," staff is proposing that NCSS participate as a "Key Partner" on 1-3 proposal projects. In addition this enables NCSS to involve more of its members in a variety of projects.

Therefore, staff respectfully requests three (3) things from you by June 10: 1) a vote on whether you agree that NCSS should participate as a Key Partner 2) a vote on whether you agree on the "possible" ways in which NCSS might participate (listed under #3); and 3) your feedback on any additional ways in which NCSS might be able to collaborate.

In May 2005, The board voted to approve NCSS participation.

American Promise Elementary Edition Endorsement

The Farmers Insurance has requested that NCSS endorse the elementary American Promise Elementary Edition Teaching Guide. This request was originally considered by the endorsements and special projects committee and the board of directors at its May 2005 meeting. As some of you may recall, the BOD accepted the recommendation of the endorsements committee at the May meeting that program needed work before it could be endorsed by NCSS.

NCSS requested revision of the materials in order to:

  • Establish clear connections between each lesson/activity, video segment, and appropriate challenge of democracy, i.e. Freedom, Responsibility, Participation, Hard Choices, Information, Opportunity, Leverage, Deliberation, and Common Ground;

  • Make sure that lessons/activities included in the teaching guide offer more complete and substantive suggestions to teachers for ways to make those connections.

  • Clearly identify the NCSS Curriculum Standards Expectations of Excellence in the Elementary School Edition Teaching Guide

These revision have been completed, and submitted to those of us who were on the endorsements committee at that time. Shelley Singer, Denee Matiolli, and I have reviewed the materials, and the revisions addressed our concerns satisfactorily. We recommend that the board of directors now approve endorsement.

In September 2005 The board voted to endorse.

Location of NCSS Archives

NCSS houses its historical papers (1921-early 1990s) at Milbank Library, Teachers College Columbia University. These papers have been available to researchers investigating the development of social studies education in the US. Milbank Library has undergone a reorganization and renovation and is no longer accepting NCSS archival materials. Additionally, Teachers College has reduced its special collections department, and these materials are not currently available to researchers. Mark Previte, NCSS Archives Committee Chair, discussed the situation with Gary Natriello, Professor of Educational Research and interim director of Milbank Library. Dr. Natriello suggested three possible options for NCSS to consider regarding the future of our materials:

1. NCSS could transport the materials back to the Washington DC area, house them in a facility and hire an agency to organize and operate the archives.

2. The Columbia University Library, located across the street from Teachers College, is willing to house present and future materials. NCSS would need to provide its permission for this to happen.

3. Create a digital archives to be housed at TC or somewhere else. We do not have any ballpark figure on the cost of this option but Dr. Natriello has contacts with a foreign company that specializes in this process and it would provide an estimate on the cost within the next month if we so choose.

The Archives Committee and Executive Committee have recommended that NCSS give permission for our materials to move to Columbia University Library. The other options would be costly, and continuing to house the archives at a major university would ensure that the materials will be again available to researchers.

In October 2005, The board voted to accept the recommendation that the NCSS Archives move to Columbia University

IV. Reports

A. Board Responsibilities.
President Jeff Passe reminded the board of its responsibilities during the annual conference.
B. President Report
Jeff Passe summarized his written report.
C. President Elect Report.
President Elect Peggy Altoff presented her written report.
D. Vice President Report.
Vice President Gayle Thieman presented her written report.
E. Finance Reports
Director of Finance Paul Schwobel presented financial reports for FY ending June 30, 2005 and for the current year through September 2005. Schwobel reported that the auditors are still finalizing their work so the year-end statements as presented are unaudited.
F. Staff Reports
Susan Griffin summarized the written staff reports.
G. Documents Review Committee
Peggy Altoff reported that the Documents Review Committee is currently reviewing the NCSS Policy Manual to make sure that it is up-to-date will also check it for consistency. The committee will report any recommended changes to the board in February.
H. Intergroup Relations Committee.
Peggy Altoff reported that the committee will meet with SIG and committee chairs during the annual conference.
I. Endorsements and Special Projects
  1. Center for Educational Policy Research on behalf of College Board
    • The Center for Educational Policy Research requested formal advisor involvement from NCSS. Endorsements and Special Projects Committee Chair Gayle Thieman reported that the committee recommended approval of this request.
      • Motion: ...to approve formal advisor collaboration.
      • PASSED
  2. Center on Congress at Indiana University
    • The Center on Congress requested formal advisor involvement from NCSS. Thieman reported that the committee was generally in favor of approval, but had reservations regarding the extent to which NCSS would have input into lesson plans, and questions regarding compensation and time expectations for advisors. The committee recommended that the request be approved with the understanding that the formal advisor appointed by NCSS could negotiate time commitment and compensation.
      • Motion: ... to approve formal advisor collaboration.
      • PASSED
  3. American Psychological Association National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula
    • APA requested endorsement of their standards for high school psychology. Thieman reported that committee recommended endorsement.
      • Motion: ... to endorse the APA National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula.
        • PASSED
  4. Youth Service America
    • NCSS was requested to sign on as a "national partner" in support of National and Global Youth Service Day. Thieman reported that the committee recommended approval.
      • Motion: ... that NCSS become a "national partner" in support of National and Global Youth Service Day.
      • PASSED
  5. Empower Peace
    • Empower Peace requested approval of dissemination of information to NCSS members about current program and future cultural exchanges. Thieman reported that the committee had concerns about what organizations were involved in this program, and recommended that NCSS not collaborate.

V. Continuing Business

A. Fundraising Policy
Peggy Altoff introduced the draft fundraising policy.
  • Motion: ... to approved fund raising policy. (Altoff/Thieman)
  • PASSED
The board requested that the sample FASSE fundraising letters that were presented with the policy be revised before they are circulated.
B. NCATE/PRAXIS II Benchmarking
Susan Griffin reported that NCATE is continuing its examination of using benchmark scores from the PRAXIS II tests as part of its accreditation decisions. Gayle Thieman is serving as chair of an ad hoc committee to examine this issue and form an NCSS position.
C. Governance Transition
Jeff Passe reported that the House of Delegates will be considering the proposed constitutional amendment to change the composition of the NCSS board of directors. The transition team will meet during the annual conference to discuss next steps in the transition plan, which will include an examination of the NCSS committee structure.

VI. New Business

A. Washington Partners Proposal
Susan Griffin reported that NCSS solicited a proposal from Washington Partners for services to assist NCSS in educating Congress and related federal agencies about the work of NCSS and the importance of social studies education.
  • Motion: ... to approve NCSS collaboration with Washington Partners as outlined in its August 29 proposal. (Horne/Banks)
  • PASSED
B. 21st Century Skills
The 21st Century Skills project is working on creating technology standards in the discipline areas. It wishes to align these standards with the NCSS Curriculum Standards
  • Motion: ... to send to the Technology Committee via liaison Steve Goldberg.
  • PASSED
C. National Coalition for History
NCSS has been invited to join the National Coalition for History. NCH promotes and engages in historical and archival advocacy.
  • Motion: ... to approve NCSS joining NCH as an "Institutional Supporter" for one year and reevaluate after one year.
  • PASSED
D. Nominations and Election Committee Appointments
Jeff Passe reported that the executive committee approved appointment of Adrian Davis and Cricket Kidwell to the Nominations and Elections committee for a three-year term. The board approved the appointments.
E. Nomination Procedures
The executive committee reported that it has discussed several changes to nomination procedures:
  • Make appointments to the committee during the first quarter of the NCSS fiscal year. The committee and incoming chair and incoming members would meet during the NCSS annual conference to begin work for the following year's nominations. The executive committee will make future appointments on this schedule.
  • Appoint a maximum of 2 persons for each open position.
    Jesus Garcia, current Nominations and Elections Committee chair explained that the pool of candidates is small. Nominating more than 2 persons for each slot would result in more unelected candidates and possible discourage these persons from standing for election at a later date. Several board members felt that NCSS should encourage all qualified candidates to run as it seems more in keeping with a democratic election.
    • Motion: ... that the maximum number of candidates for each elective office be two, unless the petition process is used.
    • DEFEATED
  • Beginning in 2006-2007, provide a stipend for K-12 board members to compensate for substitute costs for up to 4 days per year. Griffin reported that $6000 is the estimated expected maximum annual cost to NCSS.
    • Motion: ... that a 3 year pilot be established that would provide K-12 candidates who are elected to the Board a stipend to defray some of the cost of hiring substitutes for their classrooms; further, that this stipend does not exceed the cost of 4 days per year; further, that a line item be developed for the 2006-2007 budget allowing for this pilot to occur.
      • Amendment: ... that 4 full days of substitute compensation be granted to teachers upon request."
      • Amendment Passed
    • Motion postponed until February 2006 meeting.
F. Committee Appointment Procedures
Jeff Passe asked the board to consider current NCSS procedures for appointing committee chairs. The board discussed whether committee chairs should be reappointed. Some board members felt that this should be at the discretion of the president-elect in order to accommodate particularly effective chairs. The board liaisons to committees should provide advice to the president-elect when these appointments are made.
G. NCLB Discussion
Jeff Passed asked the board to discuss NCSS position regarding NCLB.
  • Motion: ... that NCSS support the inclusion of social studies or any discipline that falls under the NCSS definition of social studies in future No Child Left Behind reauthorization.
  • PASSED

The board adjourned.

-- TimDaly - 12 Dec 2005
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